Far Eastern University blew a two-set lead but pounced on St. Benilde’s series of miscues in the decider to pound out a 26-24, 15-4 victory and gain an early share of the lead with Adamson in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.
Dragged into a fifth set battle by the resurgent Lady Blazers, the Lady Tams took seven of the first eight points in the decider, the last four off their rivals’ errors, including four touches, a net violation, a setting miscue and an attack error.
They were never threatened from there as the last year’s runners-up racked up six straight points after the Lady Blazers made it a 4-9 game, clinching the victory on another St. Benilde miscue after a foiled attack by the Morayta-based squad.
The Lady Tams blew a 23-21 lead and a match point in the fourth frame but recovered their bearing and rhythm in the fifth aided by the Lady Blazers’ erratic stand.
Celine Domingo blasted in 12 kills and finished with 14 points while Jerrili Malabanan, rookie Lycha Ebon, Jeanette Villareal and Kyle Negrito combined in their strong finish and combined for 32 points.
Negrito also produced 20 excellent sets.
Marites Pablo posted a game-high 20 points, Jan Daguil knocked in the set-clinching kill in the fourth that forced the decider and finished with 18 markers while Klarisa Abriam piled up 15 for the Lady Blazers, now mentored by Jerry Yee, who ended up with 47 errors.
Earlier, National U banked on the power-hitting Bryan Bagunas as it trounced reigning NCAA titlist Perpetual Help, 25-18, 27-25, 23-25, 25-16, while St. Benilde subdued San Beda U, 25-21, 15-25, 28-26, 27-25, in the other contest in the men’s side of the mid-season conference of the league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa and Asics.
Bagunas, who led NU to the UAAP Season 80 crown, hammered in 19 kills and finished with 24 points while Angelo Almendres, Madzlan Gampong and Kim Malabunga added 13, 11 and 10 markers, respectively.
The Bulldogs also came up with 16 kill blocks with Malabunga accounting for six and Gampong adding three.
Ronniel Rosales scored 14hits while Esmail Kasim added 12 points for the Altas.